Gentleman's Philosophy Manly Skills

Be Assertive, don’t be the Bad Guy

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So today’s article is going to be another expansion on one of my 15 Rules to Teach your Sons (I imagine there will more than a few more of these in the future since I feel like I can get a lot more material out of that list). In any case, this article is going to talk about one of the most effective ways to be a good leader. This will more clearly explain the phrase, “be assertive, but don’t be the bad guy.” This was always something I heard from my dad while I was the Senior Patrol Leader with my Boy Scout troop, and it’s something that’s stuck with me to this day. So today, I’m going to elaborate more on what that phrase means and how to properly apply it to any leadership position any of you reading may hold in your life.

Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Guide to Card Games

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So when I was growing up, my family loved playing card games, and they still enjoy playing cards to this day. As a result, I learned how to play a handful (no pun intended) of different card games that I thought would be good for any young gentleman to know. So today, I’m  going to go over some of my personal favorite card games and their basic rules so you can play them yourself at a family game night, a night in with the guys, or anything else. So without any further delay, let’s get started!

1. Rummy

This one is a particular favorite among my family. The object of Rummy is to essentially empty your hand before the other players do by placing down 3’s of a Kind or straights involving at least three sequential cards of the same suit on the table. If only two players are playing, each player starts with ten cards. If three or four are playing, every player starts with seven cards, and with five or six players, everyone starts with six cards. After the cards are dealt, the rest of the deck is set face-down on the center of the table and the top card is flipped face-up to start the discard pile, beginning the game. Players starting to the left of the dealer can choose to take the top card off of the deck, take a card out of the discard pile, or put down any melds (3’s of a Kind) or straights they already have. Every player must put a card into the discard pile in order to end their turn. As the game continues, players that have already put down their own melds or straights can then place down cards that continue another player’s set. For example, if one player notices that his opponent has as three 7’s on the table, he can choose to set down the fourth seven if he so chooses. The round ends when the first player “goes out” by setting down his last card without putting a card into the discard pile. Once the round is over, the scores are added up and the game continues for as long as the players please. Now, the rules for different aspects of the game like point values, taking multiple cards from the discard pile, and other things can vary, so it’s important to discuss such things with the dealer before starting the game.

2. BS

This was a particular favorite of mine when I was younger. This is a fun and simple one that can be a good choice for those who don’t have much experience with card games. The object of the game, like Rummy, is to get rid of all of your cards before your opponents. The game begins with the dealer dealing out the cards one at a time until there are no cards left in the deck. Whoever has the Ace of Spades begins the game. How it works is that the player with the Ace of Spades sets it down at the center of the table along with any other Aces they have, and state what they are setting down (so if the player has two aces, they would say “two aces” when they set their cards down). The game continues with the cards increasing in numerical values with Aces representing 1. The catch is, that if a player doesn’t have the specific card they’re supposed set down, they still have to set down cards, but have to lie about what they’re setting down (for example, they would set down a card and say “one five”, but the actual card is anything other than a five). On top of that, any player can call “BS” on another player if they think the last card that was set down is false. If the player who called “BS” is right and the card is indeed false, then the player who set down the last card then picks up all the cards currently in the center of the table. However, if the player who called “BS” is wrong, and the card is actually what the player claims it is, then the player who called it takes all the cards. The game continues around the table until one player runs out of cards.

3. Blackjack

This one is a relatively simple one that can be a decent introduction to the thrills of gambling (in all seriousness, please gamble responsibly. Know your limits and don’t bet any more money than you’re willing to lose). The object of Blackjack is fairly straightforward. Have your hand equal twenty-one or lower while also having a greater value than the dealer’s hand. If your hand is greater than twenty-one, you “bust”, meaning you forfeit your entire bet, a rule which also applies to the dealer. To begin the game, the dealer places to cards in front of him, one face up, the other face down, and then gives two cards to the other player. Once the round begins, the player can choose to either hit or stand (there are other options in higher-stakes games, but those won’t be addressed here). To hit means to request another card from the dealer. The player can hit as many times as they like, but if at any time their hand goes over twenty-one, they bust. If the player chooses to stand, they are satisfied with their hand, and will have no other cards given to them. Once the player chosen to stand, their hand is revealed, as well as the dealer’s face-down card. Whichever player gets the highest value closest to twenty-one without going over wins, and a new round begins. The values of each card break down as follows: Kings, Queens, and Jacks (face cards) are worth ten, Aces can be worth either one or eleven, depending on which will be more advantageous for the player, and numbered cards are worth their number.

4. Poker

Of course, Poker is the quintessential card game that is recognizable all over the world. Now, there are multiple ways to play poker, but the ultimate goal across most of those different forms is to get the highest five-card hand, so for this entry, I’m going to list some of the most popular terms in Poker as well as the hand hierarchy  to understand what you’ll be doing and what to be aiming for when you sit down to start placing bets.

Popular/Universal Terms

  • Call – match the previous bet.
  • Raise – to bet a greater amount than the previous bet; some may call this “upping the ante”.
  • Check – hold off on betting or folding to see what the other players will do. The betting round then ends on the last player who checked.
  • All-in – Putting any chips you have left. into the pot
  • Fold – to forfeit your hand, keeping you from placing any further bets.
  • Pot – total amount of money that has been put on the table.

Hand Hierarchy

Here are the different hands in Poker, listed from best to worst

  • Royal Flush – Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and ten all of the same suit
  • Straight Flush – Any five cards of the same suit in numerical order
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards with the same number
  • Full House – Three cards with the same number and two cards with  the saem number
  • Flush – Any five cards of the same suit
  • Straight – Any five cards in numerical order, regardless of suit
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards with the same number
  • Two Pair – Two cards with with the same number and another two cards with the same number
  • Pair – Two cards with the same number

In the event of a tie, the higher numerical value takes precedence. For example, a pair of two tens will beat two threes.

So there we have it! These are just a few card games you can start incorporating into your game nights or hangouts! Card games can be wonderful way to socialize since they, more often than not, require the participants to interact with each other in way that’s a bit more serious and personal than a lot of other games. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!


Manly Skills

The Importance of Letter-Writing

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First off, apologies for not having an article up on Saturday, I got caught up with a trip to Disneyland with my girlfriend and didn’t have much time to research a topic for today. I still felt guilty about not having an article up though, so I hope you’ll forgive me in putting up this one so late. In any case, let’s get to the rest of the article.

It’s no surprise that email and social media have become so commonplace today that the art of letter-writing is in danger of practically dying, which is a shame. Letter-writing is a much more personal and honest way to talk to someone as opposed to just sending someone a text message or DM on Instagram. So today, I’m going to go over how to write a letter as well as its importance today. So before this article turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

For starters, it’s important to understand that most of what I’ll be talking about today is informal letter-writing – that is, writing a letter to someone like an old friend, family member, lover, etc. As such, the rules of writing can be somewhat fluid. The salutation can be the colloquial “Dear [recipient’s first name]”, or it can simply be the recipients name. If it’s a close friend or even a lover, feel free to include any salutation as well as a silly nickname or pet name. The letter can also be formatted in any way you please, but the content is where it counts. Informal letters can be for a variety of purposes; a thank you note, a letter of congratulations, a condolence letter, a love letter, etc. While most of these formats can be very personal, you’ll want to save pouring out your feelings for either a love or condolence letter. If it’s anything else, the you’ll want to keep it colloquial; let the recipient know how things in your life are going, ask how things in their life are going. Even with all the types of informal letter formats I listed above, most of them are just life updates like what we do on Facebook. As for closing your letter, choose whatever you want. It can be “sincerely”, “regards”, “love”, or anything else that comes to mind. Lastly, when it comes to what you want to write your letter on, it can be just about anything. It can simply be a piece of notebook paper or printer paper,  or it can also be a piece of formal stationery, something I would suggest for a love or condolence letter. Now with all of that out of the way, let’s get into why letter-writing is so important.

As I said in the beginning of the article, the rise of the internet and social media has led to electronic communication becoming essentially the norm. While there’s anything inherently wrong with that, there are two very important things that written letters have that said electronic communication doesn’t: human connection and honesty. Since it’s so much easier to be anonymous on the internet, it also makes it a lot harder to actually connect with people you meet online. Even if you’re not directly talking to the letter’s recipient, there’s a level of connection there that isn’t present online. Think about it. It’s your pen that writes the physical letter, your saliva seals the letter, and your hand that puts the letter in the mailbox. Just those three small things allow for much more connection without actually talking to them. Plus, since it obviously takes more time to write a letter than it does to type a text message or Facebook status, the recipient will be much more touched that you took the time to write them that letter.

So there it is! Hopefully this gave you young gents reading a better idea of how and why to write letters more often. If any of you are interested in more details about letter-writing, be sure to check out this piece by the Art of Manliness that gave me inspiration for this one. They go into a bit more detail about formal letter-writing as well as how to address an envelope for those who don’t know. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Manly Skills

What the Wilderness can Teach a Young Gentleman

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! For today’s article, I’m going to draw a lot from my experience as a Boy Scout and attempt to teach you young gents reading this how the great outdoors are a true gentleman’s playground and classroom. So let’s not waste any time and get right into it!

1. Self-Preservation

While I’ve obviously never been in a situation where I’ve had to survive in the wilderness by myself, I’m confident that the skills I’ve learned as an Eagle Scout could help me survive for at least a little bit if the situation called for it. After seven (7) years of going on hikes and campouts with my Boy Scout troop, there are so many valuable skills I learned that I could not have learned elsewhere. Some skills that have stuck with me to this day are things like how to most efficiently pack a backpack, how to properly stack wood for a fire, how to read and orient a map, and how to properly and carefully ration food. And that’s just to name a few of the things I learned. These are skills that not a lot of young men today have, and with the Boy Scouts currently considering bankruptcy, it could be even harder for young men to find a place to learn these skills in a practical way. But even if you aren’t a Scout, it’s always best to abide by the Scout motto, “Be prepared”.

2. Appreciation for Nature

It’s no secret that with the amount of hikes and campouts I’ve been on, I’ve had the opportunity to see quite a few different natural locations, biomes, and ecosystems. Whether it was the vast desert in Death Valley, the mountainous heights of the Sierra Nevadas, or the lush forests of Las Padres, I eventually came to greatly appreciate what Mother Nature had to offer. Moreover, another thing this led to was my intense appreciation for the stars and astronomy. Since so many of the places I went to were devoid of the intense amount of light pollution of the modern world, I’ve been able to see the night sky in all of its wonder and beauty. With so much of modern life being so hectic and energized, being able to sit back and enjoy the beauty, tranquility, and majesty of the natural elements can be a great de-compressor for any young man.

3. Observational Skills

Travelling in the outdoors, it’s a given that you’ll see a lot of different things; trees, plants, animals, animal tracks, landscapes, and the like. And as a result, if you go to the same area often, it can allow to become familiar with the biome and ecosystem. It can help you more easily identify what animals are in the area by finding their tracks, or what types of trees are present by just looking at their leaves. While it can be debated what kind of practicality this has in real life, in my opinion, general knowledge in a variety of subjects is always a good thing for a young man to have.

So there it is! Those are just a few things that a young man can learn in the wilderness. To be honest, there’s probably a lot more that the wilderness has to teach, and if those of you who are reading like this article, maybe I’ll make a part two (2)! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, donte to our Patreon, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Guide to the Dinner Date

Evening, gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First of all, I want to sincerely apologize for not having anything up on here or any of our social media for the last few weeks. I just started a new semester at San Francisco State, and I’ve been trying to adjust to my new schedule. But now that I’m settled in, I should be back to my regular posting schedule soon, though the schedule may have to change up a little bit. In any case, today’s article is inspired by The Art of Manliness. There’s an entire section in the Art of Manliness book my godmother gave me that’s all about the best way for you to conduct yourself on a dinner date, so today, I’ll be listing some ways to make that special dinner date all the more special!

Disclaimer: Most of what I’m about to say is almost entirely accredited to The Art of Manliness, and I do not intend to claim credit for any of it. If you’d like to read their original piece about this, you can find it right here.

1. She goes first

The most important thing to remember is something to keep in mind before you even get to the restaurant, and that’s that the woman goes first. She’s the first to get in the car and the first to enter the restaurant, since you’ll be holding the door for her in both situations. She’s the first to take her coat off and sit down at the table since you’ll be helping there as well. She’s also the first to look at the wine list and the first to order her food when the time comes. However, there is an exception to this, and that’s when you’re sharing some dishes that the both of you agreed on. In that case, it’s your job to order for the both of you. She also picks up the first piece of the appetizer and is the first to take a bite of the main course. Men by nature are selfish and impatient. As Mr. McKay puts in his article, “We’re used to fighting for that slice of pizza or the last beer amongst our equally selfish man friends.” But tonight, your date is your top priority, not your food.

2. Slow down

For the most part, men tend to eat faster than women, but here’s the catch: there’s no reason to rush it! Slow down, take smaller bites, don’t shovel the food into your mouth like an animal. How can you expect to hold a conversation with a mouthful of food? Which leads very nicely to our next point.

3. Pay attention to her!

This should just go without saying. You’re going on this date to connect with your date, so how can you expect to have a conversation with her if you’re shoving food in your mouth or keeping your face glued to your phone? She might be quite interesting, which is most likely the reason you’re out on the date in the first place. So if you just take that little extra effort to pay attention to her, you might learn something even more interesting about her!

4. Keep drinks to a minimum

This really only applies to those of you who are twenty-one or over, but nonetheless, it’s still something important to keep in mind. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail during your meal, but you should generally refrain from having any more than two drinks. One of you will have to drive home.

5. In regards to payment…

To put it bluntly, you’re covering everything. The check, the tip, and everything else.

So there it is! Just remember these very simple things, and I’m sure your next dinner date will go swimmingly! While you should still obviously keep in mind general dining etiquette, these things are special things to keep in mind specifically for those special nights out with your special lady. Also, one last apology for not putting up anything for such a long time, we should be back to our regular posting schedule soon. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!